Sunday, April 16, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Never Too Old

Today, I bought the most interesting book --- Advanced Style: Older & Wiser by Ari Seth Cohen

It caught my eye at the Swan Coach House room where they sell all the really fun, cute, one of kind fashion items and accessories.

This is the second book published in 2016. The previous book published about 8 years prior. 

One of things that I like about the whole idea, is that regardless of age, you can have your own style and be your own person. 

While some of the outfits in the book are wilder than Frankie's on Grace and Frankie
(Love Frankie, don't you?)


Other outfits reveal a ladylike elegance with a touch of whimsy.
Love the Panda pin.

Most of the focus of the book, documentary, and FB page is on style in New York. But older Southern women have along tradition of wearing what they want, when they want to, and not caring what anyone thinks. As Weezie says in Steel Magnolias:

                       "I am an old Southern woman, and I am supposed to wear funny clothes,
ugly hats and dig in the dirt."


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Minimalism - the Holy Grail to Happiness?

Anyone who knows me, knows I am no minimalist.

I love stuff – pretty stuff. Lots of pretty stuff --furniture, dishes, paintings, books, do-dads, knick-knacks, you name it.

Nancy's Daily Dish


But recently, I have been intrigued by the minimalist movement. Mainly because so many of my friends say their children don’t want grandma’s china or silver or an old dresser set or any family heirloom. They are so disheartened – they gently saved and protected these heirlooms for years to pass along to children who now want no part of them. 


So, I had to investigate.

What is a minimalist?

The website The Minimalists gives their definition:

       "Minimalism has helped us…

      Eliminate our discontent
      Reclaim our time
      Live in the moment
      Pursue our passions
      Discover our missions
      Experience real freedom
      Create more, consume less
      Focus on our health
      Grow as individuals
      Contribute beyond ourselves
      Rid ourselves of excess stuff
      Discover purpose in our lives

       By incorporating minimalism into our lives, we’ve finally been able to find lasting happiness—
       and that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? We all want to be happy. Minimalists search for
       happiness not through things, but through life itself; thus, it’s up to you to determine what is
       necessary and what is superfluous in your life.

Ok. That sounds really noble and good but does it really help you find lasting happiness?
Can I, by getting rid of my stuff, become happier?

The bigger question I have, Why aren’t people already happy? I am happy.

I love my dining room. It is not super-cluttered but does not fit the definition of minimalism either.

It is one of those rooms that when I walk into it, I smile.
Every. Single. Time.

However, Chris Fultz, co-owner of Nova Liquidation, in Luray, Va. says dining room tables and chairs, end tables and armoires (“brown” pieces) have become furniture non-grata. Antiques are antiquated. “Old mahogany stuff from my great aunt’s house is basically worthless,” 

Now, let's see. 

Could it be that we did this ourselves? We gave these these children so much that they had rooms so stuffed with stuff that they are now eschewing possessions? 


My guess is when you grow up in a room like the ones above, you may feel the need to live like this.

Or this:


A quote from GQ Style on minimalism:

      "It has been said that minimalism is not a style that precludes possession, but a style that
       precludes careless possession. Only the essentials, thank you very much."

Then we have this:

Ivan Terestchenko; Fernand Léger's Le profil noir © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

One of the greatest maximalist rooms of all time is a collaboration between two of the most stylish men of all time—Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. That's their legendary Paris apartment above. ~drool~

Rooms like this are the expression of a life well lived—a celebration of objects and design—things that have been collected with a combination of care and wild abandon.

I like rooms with items of interest. With texture, color, and light.

Rather than these rooms. (I really think I would go stark raving mad.)



Some claims to minimalist living:
  • Minimalist Living Is The Key To Meaningful Living - not sure about this one. I can certainly find meaning with or without stuff
  • You’ll Become A Whole Lot Less Stressed - there may some truth in this one. I do get stressed when I have drop-in company and I know things are a bit untidy.
  • Focus on Health and Hobbies - hummmm, I think my hobby is decorating and a good 4 hrs of house cleaning certainly helps you break a sweat.
  • Promotes Individuality and Self-reliance - disagree with his one. How can you have an unique home when everything is grey, white and from Ikea?
So, is minimalism the Holy Grail to happiness? Maybe for some. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

To Hygge or Not to Hygee?

Last year, I was attracted to Nordic Noir TV Shows. Read about that here.

Well, that led to reading, researching, looking, talking about Scandinavia. And of course, with the election this past year and all the discussion about life in and moving to Denmark, Sweden and Norway (strange few people actually mention Finland, I must research) I found myself caught up in it all.

Is life really better?

One of the things I found very interesting is the Danish concept of hygge.
By definition is it the Scandinavian concept of getting cozy to create feelings of well being and contentment. Web pages and blogs are full of pictures of quiet contentment.

Warm coffee, a fire cheerfully burning, candles, a flower or two, warm wraps, pastries -- yes, lots of pastries, being outside with fresh air and sunshine. I can get into this.

What all of this reminded me of was a book I read years ago, Creating a Beautiful Home by Alexandra Stoddard.
The concept sounds wonderful and reassuring. An article in in the New Yorker called it bourgeois, Hummmm.....

"The most striking thing about hygge, though, might be how its proponents tend to take prosperity for granted. All the encouragements toward superior handicrafts and Scandinavian design, the accounts of daily fireside gatherings and freshly baked pastries assume a certain level of material wealth and an abundance of leisure time. As a life philosophy, hygge is unabashedly bourgeois, and American readers of a certain stripe will be familiar with its hallmark images—still-lifes of hands cradling a mug, candles lit at dusk on a picnic table, bikes with woven baskets and child safety seats leaning against a colorful brick wall. Artisanal this and homemade that, fetishizing what’s rustic as authentic, what’s simple as sophisticated: urban American sophisticates already know this aesthetic; we’ve aspired to it for a long time."

This may or may not be true, but I think with the lifestyle many of us have, we could all use a little hygge in our lives. So, in typical Pat Fashion, I have ordered a few books, bookmarked a few websites and plan how I might take some of these ideas and incorporate in my life.

My decorating style is not consistent with hygge. Minimalism is not my cup of tea or warm coffee by fire. However, I do think hygge can be useful even in a stuffed, antique filled Victorian home. We shall see.

For numerous ideas Pinterest is full of them. Just search hygge.
For book, just check Amazon.



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

LulaRoe - Not Just Mommy Clothes

LulaRoe. A new (well, to me, anyway) brand of clothing. 
I first heard of the company while doing my Made in the USA investigation. (And my neighbor had mentioned them several times.) A quick google image search brought up wildly patterned leggings with big over shirts or brightly colored dresses worn by pregnant women and mommies. 


Mommy clothes. 
(No offense mommies -- you deserve great looking stay at home outfits!)
But not for me.

But I decided to take a look when I was invited to a Pop-Up Boutique held by our local LulaRoe girls in Powder Springs - Sherrie and Christa

Not only was the party fun (there was wine), I got to try on clothes and decide what I liked. The laid back, relaxed atmosphere was very encouraging -- no high pressure like some Tupperware or Mary Kay parties that I have been to in the past. 

I bought. 
Here is my first LulaRoe outfit.
A Perfect Tee paired with an Azure skirt.
Makes a good work outfit.

(I am not very good at selfies and I am in the office bathroom - LOL.)

Hummm....this is interesting. So in typical Pat fashion, I researched. 

LulaRoe is sold only by LulaRoe Consultants. What I really like is that they sell using Facebook private groups, Facebook live, Instagram, and Periscope. I like the technology. 

Here are some pics grabbed from Periscope. 

Basically they show the item (live) and you comment "Sold" with the number. Then you fill out a google doc attached to the Periscope profile and almost within an hour you are sent an invoice. Tap the link and pay through a LulaRoe secure site. 
They are all over social media and really use the tools effectively.

Easy peasy.

But what about work? 
Well, though further investigation, I found that there are plenty of clothes that will work for the business casual office.

These pretty dresses are from another consultant LulaRoe Charm.

The latest craze for a dress is called "Carly." Carly is a flared dress with sleeves and a asymmetrical hem. It is VERY popular right now and people are hunting very specific patterns and colors.

Interesting thing about LulaRoe -- the patterns are one of a kind and once they are gone they are gone. So people hunt for what is called a "unicorn" -- a pattern that is unique and hard to find.


I decided I needed a Carly, so when a cute one came up on a LulaRoe scope (Periscope broadcast), I snagged it. I found out later that the retro cassette tape pattern is a unicorn for many people.

But for casual, LulaRoe specializes in leggings. Bright, bold, buttery soft leggings. 
While I will probably never go out in public in leggings, I will wear around the house on  those rainy weekend days when all I want to do is watch football or read.

Or sit on the porch at the lake.


Go to a Pop-Up party or check in with a Periscope broadcast. 
What will happen is that you will see the beautiful items available, you will make a purchase thinking that you'll try just one... and you will be hooked.

Heads Up.
The sizing is strange. Really strange.
For some pieces you can go down a size or two, for others you have to go up a size.  That is why trying on is important. Here is a screen capture of the sizing charts from a google search -- it is enough to make you dizzy.  

A lot depends on where the item is made. My original pieces were both Made in the USA and they fit true to size. I have since tried on pieces of the the same -- Perfect T, Azure skirt and they are not true to size if made out of the USA. ~~insert and unhappy face here~~

For full disclosure, while LulaRoe was originally Made in the USA - most of it is not now. 

The company has had such growth and demand, that they have outsourced. With careful label checking, you can still find items made in the the USA.  Click here to read about it. They justify their outsourcing in an interesting way.

Makes me sad.

Will I continue to buy LulaRoe?
So far, everything is comfortable and fun.
We shall see how it holds up over the long haul.


Monday, August 1, 2016

She Called Me...

I was cruising an estate sale this week and when I went upstairs to the playroom, I hear a tiny voice, “Hey there.” I looked over and there on a shelf, just covered in dust, was the cutest little face.

I am not a doll collector, although as a child I loved dolls. I played with them, tended to their little needs, and adored them. You can read about that here.

But somehow, when I walked over this one, I just knew she had to come home with me. So, I grabbed her and ran downstairs to the checkout area.

Here she is in my lap in the car on the way home.

Once I go home, I inspected her more carefully. She is signed on the back of her neck with a number.

Since I don’t know much about porcelain dolls, I thought I would google the maker: Pauline Bjonness-Jacobsen.   (For those of you who know me well, know that when faced with something I am unfamiliar with, I will research it to death.)

At first, I didn’t find much except that she passed away in October of 2006.

Her company was known as Dolls by Pauline. The last of the dolls made by Pauline were produced in 2006. I did find an article about Pauline – an interview with her daughter – her story is very touching and more beautiful than her doll creations.

“Pauline spoke five languages, lived in half-a-dozen countries that spanned three continents and grew to love people of all ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. The diversity shows. My mother spent part of her childhood, from ages 7 to 11, in a concentration camp in Indonesia. Shortly before World War II, her father had taken her on her birthday to a toy store and told her she could choose anything she wanted. She chose a baby doll she named “Emma.” When she and her family were rounded up and taken to their first camp, they were allowed to take only what they could carry. (My grandfather had already been taken away and ended up working on the Burma railroad.) My grandmother packed the bare essentials, since she had four children aged 10 months to 11 years old, and told my mother she had to leave her beloved doll behind.

My mother, however, would not let go of her doll, and my grandmother gave in. Once they got to camp, my grandmother wrapped her jewelry in tissue, because jewelry was being taken away, and somehow hid them all inside my mother’s doll. “Emma” was never far from Pauline’s side, and when the war concluded, my mother gave “Emma” to her little sister Trudy, who had been lost for a year at the end of the war. I believe my mother was born with a talent for art. Perhaps her love of doll making derived from her beloved doll “Emma,” which gave her comfort during a difficult and scary time in her young life.”

Here she is at home, waiting for me to find a special place for her.

I thought at first, I would put her in my favorite bedroom, but I just couldn't leave her upstairs alone. Besides, it is dark in there.

Then I thought my office, but she didn't like it.

So I placed her on the mantle piece in our bedroom.

She seems happy here for now.  My little one hasn't told me her name yet, so until then, I am calling her Lucy.


Sunday, July 10, 2016


Lately I have become obsessed with quilting and the thought of quilting. 
So in typical Pat fashion -- I google quilts. 
Pinterest is a wonderful thing.
Look at these beauties.

Beautiful, beautiful work. 
Really pieces of art.

I also like the type of quilt called "Civil War Quilts."
They are very old fashioned and more subdued in colors.

And then there are the more traditional quilts -- today called "vintage." 
These are the quilts I  remember. Made from scratch with the quilting done by hand.

I want to start a simple quilt project but there are so many choices. I am really having a hard time deciding which pattern to pick and what colors to use. 

Have any of you made a quilt? 
Suggestions and thoughts are appreciated.